Law or Faith – Giving the Tithe
God wants us to live by faith
Galations 3 v12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”
There are many of us who still wander in the wilderness having yet to cross over into the promised inheritance of faith.
The scriptures tells us that as saints and members of the body of Christ we are now to live by faith and anything that we do that is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23). We are called to live by faith rather than law as our faith will fulfil, in love, all the laws requirements.
Our enemy wants nothing more that to keep people in the wilderness, as staying there is displeasing to the Father who wants us all to trust Him and cross over into Him.
The first law that is so often imposed on the saints is “the tithe”
I have met many saints who tithe and when asked if they can stop or miss a week they almost shudder at the thought. I have no issue with a brother or sister who wants to tithe but to tithe under law is simply missing the beauty, joy and wonder of faith.
What do I mean by tithing under law? well its simple. If you feel under compulsion to tithe because by doing or not doing so you will either please or displease God and possibly impact some form of blessing on your life, you are under law.
The tithe is often promoted in churches in order to ensure a predicted income to run the machinery of the building and pay the salaried staff.
Here is the first problem! if you want to tithe as a base line for giving and can stop and start or direct funds to any need then you probably haven’t got a problem. But if your encouraged to tithe to a particular church on the basis of scriptural requirements then you are straying into legalism.
What’s interesting is that those who are obtaining a salary from the tithe will often appeal to the scriptures to enforce its requirement, quoting texts such as Malachi chapter 3. Yet what they fail to tell us is that the scriptures make it very clear who collected the tithe “the tribe of Levi” and what was unique about them?
The Levites did not own any land, they did not receive an inheritance (Deuteronomy 10:9). So if the salaried leader demands the tithe in accordance with a scriptural mandate and wants to remain faithful to scripture he will probably need to sell his house and start renting!
I’m not objecting to salaried workers or leaders but I am objecting to the imposing of the burden of law on brothers and sisters who are called to live by faith.
The Old Testament people of God were not inhabited by the Holy Spirit and therefore needed laws to direct them and that included the giving of money.
In the New Testament we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit who directs our giving, when we replace the Spirit with law we offend His work in us.
When we pay the tithe under law we rob our leaders of their opportunity to live by faith. The guaranteed tithe deprives them of the simple trust in Him for the payment of bills.
I spent a number of years in a church in Birmingham “The Crown” and noted something very beautiful. There was no requirement to tithe, although I’m sure some did. There was a box placed at the back of the meeting for giving and the supported leader and his family were evidently living by faith in the families giving as directed by the Spirit, rather than the law of the tithe. I witnessed brothers and sisters coming together to help another brother and sister pay their mortgage when times were hard. This was a family of faith and in that faith the Spirit moved.
In this age all are priests and not just one twelfth! Every day is a Sabbath day, holy to the Lord and not just one seventh! All of our money belongs to God and not just a tenth. In fact we belong to God, all our possessions, yes everything we have is His and at His disposal.
If your interested in looking into this matter further then I highly recommend Steve Gregg on this subject